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by Stephen Downes
June 2, 2009

The Miracle Transformation Fallacy
Similar considerations could apply to open educational resources (OERs). "There is a second fallacy, which is also very important, which we might call the miracle transformation fallacy -- i.e., the notion that, if we could get little green laptops into children's hands, it would miraculously transform their lives. This fallacy falls within an approach known as "media determinism," the notion that a particular media or technology will automatically have a certain effect no matter what context it is deployed in. However, a long history of experience with all media indicates that they are heavily influenced by the context of their use." Mark Warschauer, One Laptop Per Child News, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Does Google Wave Mean the End of the LMS?
I've been collecting Google Wave articles but I don't have the bandwidth in this Novatel Hotel in Ottawa to view the video (right now even the blog posts are having difficulty). But if this is question number one, then for me question number two is, "Is Google Wave the PLE"? Michael Feldstein, e-literate, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , ] [Comment]

A university for the coming singularity
It's getting to the point where, if you have a successful book, you found a university. So much the worse for universities. Ray Kurzweil, TED, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: none] [Comment]

File sharing is hurting innovation, group says
The Conference Board of Canada may have withdrawn its plagiarized and innacurate report on copyright in Canada, but the impact lingers - as one correspondent writes, "Clearly 'recalling' a report has the same effect as 'recalling' an email ...absolutely none." Given that CanWest author Gillian Shaw (or the editors at the Telegraph Journal) must have known that the report had been withdrawn, there can be no excuse for continuing to spread the falsehoods. Yet there they are. Gillian Shaw, Saint John Telegraph Journal, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

"While institutional repositories are proficient in managing text-based research such as articles, books, and theses, they are not yet attuned to the requirements of images and time-based media." Launching tomorrow (June 3), "The Kultur project aims to change this by creating a flexible multimedia repository that will be able to showcase a wide range of outputs, from digital versions of painting, photography, film, graphic and textile design, to records of performances, shows and installations." Various Authors, Website, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , ] [Comment]

Students Prefer Real Classroom to Virtual World
The first comment has the best reaction: "Let's see. 15 students in an on ground class with no experience in virtual worlds decide they prefer an on ground class. What a surprise..." I would add that it is important to recognize that students, as a demographic, are very conservative, especially higher up in the system. These are the people who have adapted very well to the current system. Why would they support change? I've said this before, that the best test of online learning is with the many people (the majority, actually, and the less wealthy) that the current system doesn't serve. Marc Beja, Chronicle of Higher Education, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , ] [Comment]

Changes in publisher policies on repository deposit?
Posted to the JISC archives list today: "Rumours are spreading that Elsevier staff are approaching UK Vice-Chancellors persuading them to point to PDF copies of articles on Elsevier's web-site rather than have the articles deposited in institutional repositories. It appears that the argument being used is that this will be a cheaper option than maintaining full-text within repositories. If these reports are true, my guess is that Elsevier are using these arguments to undermine deposit mandates. If Vice-Chancellors are persuaded to adopt this policy, it would only give repository access to an unsatisfactory version (PDFs will not enable re-use for research purposes) and access on Elsevier's terms. If this is Elsevier's strategy it would seem to negate their "green" status." Fred Friend, JISC Repositories Mailing List, June 2, 2009 [Link] [Tags: , , , , ] [Comment]

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Copyright 2008 Stephen Downes

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